Sept. 20, 2003
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern had its nine-match winning streak snapped Saturday night as it fell to Florida 3-0 (30-18, 30-20, 30-20). With the wins, the third-ranked Gators remained unbeaten in the 2003 Wildcat Classic for a perfect 3-0 run, while Northwestern came in second with a 2-1 record.
Senior middle blocker and all-America candidate Erika Lange (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) led the Wildcats against the Gators, recording 14 kills and a solo block on her way to being named to the all-tournament team. On the weekend, Lange recorded 38 kills, two solo blocks, and a .438 hitting percentage, including a career-high .733 percentage vs. Chicago State on Saturday.
Lange set a Northwestern record for block assists this weekend, reaching 452 after Saturday's Chicago State match. She surpassed Liz Douglass' previous mark of 448, which was set 20 years ago.
All-Big Ten candidates Iwona Lodzik (Tarnobrzeg, Poland/Tarnobrzeg) and Drew Robertson (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) also were named to the all-tournament team. Lodzik led the Wildcats with 45 kills on the weekend and had 16 digs, while Robertson recorded 117 assists in the tournament. Robertson is now in third place overall on the school's career assists chart.
Florida senior outside hitter and tournament Most Valuable Player Aury Cruz led the Gators with 20 kills, 10 digs, and a .581 hitting percentage vs. Northwestern. Senior middle blocker Benavia Jenkins also led the attack with 11 kills and a .444 hitting percentage with five block assists.
Northwestern will now look toward the Big Ten season which gets underway this Wednesday at 7 p.m. when it hosts rival Illinois. The Wildcats, who finished in a tie for sixth place in the 2002 Big Ten standings, look to build on that NCAA-qualifying season.